We’re always thinking, sharing, and growing.

Jan

14

 

As we continue to absorb all of the content coming out of our virtual CES experience, a few key topics stood out to us from yesterday’s lineup.

 

1) Retailers continue to focus on tech to drive overall customer satisfaction.

As a Preferred Service Provider at Walmart, of course we’re incredibly enthusiastic about all things Walmart to come out of CES. During the company’s keynote, we were excited to learn about the focus on robotic and AI technology to drive further price and time savings for customers – specifically how the ecosystem of technologies works together to drive customer experience. It’s always exciting to hear about a new piece of flashy retail tech, but true value and ROI is only realized when that tech fits into the larger strategic vision.

For 3PLs like Premium, helping our retailer and supplier partners seamlessly integrate our solutions into that overarching customer-driven puzzle is critical.

 

2) In-store tech may soon eclipse apps in the eyes of shoppers.

One segment in particular, “Retailers New Look: Shoppers Little Helpers,” shined light on this very topic. Speakers talked about robotics solutions in retail environments to support basic customer needs and shopping experience with tasks like Q&A and cleaning. This would likely only supplement the tasks that require more personal connection – something we believe still adds value for many product categories. We’re also seeing an influx of payment technologies that allow for touchless checkout. This app-less experience is influenced by the demand from customers who are shopping in-store today.

The key takeaway: The data tells us that customers no longer want to utilize apps for everything. Customers are growing more frustrated with app-based retail strategies and many want a more frictionless experience. Because in today’s world, even taking out your phone and finding or installing the app you need is a barrier to the engagement.

That’s not to say that in-store tech can’t incorporate or drive to digital experiences and content, but the transition and overall experience needs to be as seamless as possible – and, of course, it needs to add value. Brands must be careful not to overinvest in app development that customers perceive to be a seldom-used property. When the situation warrants, consumers prefer to utilize technologies like NFC, geofencing or QR codes, the resurging darling of a contactless 2020.

 

3) The new normal is here, and it’s here to stay.

It’s simply the norm – and retailers like Walmart, Best Buy and more are very aware of that.

The safety of retail workers and customers alike has always been a priority, but the shifts to align with safety protocols and guidelines continue to force us to think differently. And those shifts have influenced customer expectations – expectations that won’t just go away with the eventual dissipation of the pandemic. Customers are going to expect the supply chain to continue to keep up with their demands. That also means increased pressure on retail associates and 3PL partners to maintain on-shelf availability just as quickly – thus the industry’s surge in hiring efforts. No more fighting for toilet paper and diapers – or expect a loss of customers.

In other words, when we’re on the other side of this pandemic (or we can officially call it over – whenever that may be), retail trends that have accelerated like surges in supply chain, BOPIS and grocery delivery aren’t going to decelerate any time soon. Customers’ expectations have shifted, and they’ll stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Did you miss our highlights from day one of CES? Check them out here.

Jan

13

 

Premium’s CE team is spending the week taking in this year’s virtual CES. But just because we traded our suits for slippers doesn’t mean we didn’t take notes! 

What we’re taking away from day one: 

 

1. Navigate omnichannel with nimbleness.  

The year 2020 was a learning experience, with digital adoption rates accelerating years beyond expectations. Best Buy CEO Corie Barry focused on the importance of being agile and iterative as we all embrace “the new normal.”  

We put the customer in control. Whether the customer wanted it on their couch, whether they wanted it curbside, whether they wanted it at the counter – that needs to not matter to us,” she said during her keynote interview. “We need to agnostically meet that customer wherever they are.” 

In partnership with our clients, Premium plans to continue the momentum, adapting to retail’s rapidly changing needs through flexible planning. Brick and mortar stores will remain at the epicenter with the ability to serve customers at the front door with curbside pickup, cash register with contactless payment and back door ship from store. 

 

2. Evolve the customer experience throughout every consumer channel.

Consistency, personalization and engaging new experiences are brand and retailer mantras more than ever as they seek to become trusted advisors for consumers. Premium’s brand advocacy solutions provide an army of advocates and technologies to help deliver memorable experiences that convert to sales. 

Premium can help you create a consistent, powerful customer experience everywhere you sell. Our online brand championsvirtual sales assist technology, and gamification strategies help bring your brand to life, bell to bell.  

As the omnichannel path to purchase matures, brand advocates and retail experts need to have clearly defined roles in serving online communities’ needs beyond basic product descriptions and boilerplate interactions.  

 

3. Get smart with actionable data.

Online shopping has given us more data on consumer behavior than ever. But many in retail have no idea how to use it. Premium invests in AI and cloud solutions to collect and analyze data, giving you a leg up in building relationships and loyalty with your customers and smartly investing toward gaps in the business.

Premium is ready to move your retail strategy forward; everywhere you need us. 

Want more key takeaways from CES? Click here.

 

Dec

22

 

Premium recognizes team members who have eclipsed expectations through a handful of significant awards each year. Congratulations to our 2020 award nominees and winners for their outstanding representation of what it means to be Premium!

 

2020 Culture Hero Award

Jennifer Hovestadt, Senior Manager – Training

The Culture Hero award was first established in 2019. It recognizes the efforts put forth by a phenomenal member of Premium’s Culture Team. Behind the scenes, the Culture Team cultivates relationships among Premium’s remote and office-based teams, focusing on employee recognition, engagement, and fun.

Jennifer joined Premium in 2011 as a Field Representative. In 2012, she started working full-time as a Trainer and has since been promoted to Training Supervisor and now Senior Training Manager. She is instrumental in developing training for several clients and retailers and most recently spearheaded the creation of the University of Premium.

On the Culture Team, Jennifer is known for going above and beyond, always with a positive attitude and kind-hearted approach to our initiatives. She displayed leadership, consistently coming with ideas and repeatedly volunteering to lead projects – all with a full workload on her plate.

 

2020 Canada Employee of the Year Award

Sean Frydman, National Field Manager

Our Employee of the Year awards recognize outstanding Premium team members whose hard work and dedication are unmatched.

Premium Canada’s 2020 winner drives results through continuous innovation, leadership and excellence in program management. Sean joined Premium in 2018 to lead our Microsoft Best Buy Store-Within-a-Store program. In 2019, his responsibility expanded to all of Microsoft’s field marketing in Canada.

Sean’s commitment to the success of the program has inspired greatness with our Microsoft team exceeding targets for 17 months in a row.

 

2020 U.S. Employee of the Year Award

Pavin White, Senior Logistics & Distribution Manager

Pavin started on the Client Services team in 2016, making an early impact by streamlining a system to meet the needs of a complex break-fix program. Pavin joined the team at our National Logistics & Distribution Center (NLDC) in 2018 where he helped lead our massive NLDC expansion which enhanced the services we offer to our clients.

In 2020, as the pandemic hit and disrupted every part of our business, operations at our NLDC never stopped. Pavin showed grit and tenacity when procuring essential face coverings and other supplies became a paramount need.

While adhering to new protocols, Pavin and his team continued to safely execute major initiatives for our clients and performed at a higher level of excellence than ever before.

 

2020 U.S. Field Excellence Award 

Peter Rivera, Reset Project Coordinator

Since 2017, Premium field leaders have submitted annual nominations for the Field Excellence Award. The executive team votes to recognize one standout field team member for outstanding achievement, performance, personal interaction, and creativity.

Peter joined Premium in 2012 and has been promoted several times over the last eight years: Merchandising Representative, Zone Specialist, Team Lead, Project Leader, Project Manager, Zone Leader, Market Specialist and Reset Project Coordinator. Read more #GrowWithPremium success stories here.

 

 

Peter sets our clients up for successful reset projects, managing teams of up to 30 people. Not only is Peter a hard worker, but he embodies Premium’s core beliefs of family and eclipsing expectations.

He often travels to areas outside of his own territory to complete work – even during COVID-19. To date, Peter has traveled to 25+ states. Store managers often request Peter to be the project Team Lead in their stores.

 

2020 Canada Maple Leaf Award 

Madison Farris, Recruiter

The Maple Leaf award recognizes one individual on the Canada team that has demonstrated continual excellence in performance, leadership, and an overall positive influence on the team.

Madison joined Premium as a Recruiter in 2018 and immediately made a substantial impact on finding the right talent for each of our unique businesses and clients.

Year-to-date she has recruited 460 employees and staffed an entire holiday program in 3 weeks, all during a pandemic.

 

2020 Founder’s Award

Ron Travers founded Premium Retail Services in 1985 on a foundation of family, integrity, and service. After Ron passed in 2012, Brian and Kevin introduced the Founder’s Award to honor their father’s legacy, and it is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a Premium employee.

As you know, 2020 presented challenges that we never thought were possible. We faced circumstances out of our control with no idea how this crisis would impact our company and the world.

There is simply no way to award the Founders Award to just one person. Instead, we’ve chosen to recognize the entire Premium family as the 2020 Founder’s Award recipient.

We are so proud to work with each and every one of you. Thank you for your dedication to Premium, especially during a demanding year!